The dialogue with interior design engineer Shad Askari is not without depth. The latter carries historical and philosophical charges over design, and strives to be one of the pioneers of design in the world in the near future. Between Sweden, Italy and the UAE, an army of Kurdish origin has moved on and embarked on projects around the world, reflected in a vision that goes no further than the past, without losing sight of the future.
More about Askari’s design philosophy, in the following dialogue.
You were born and bred in Sweden, where you built your first design studio. How did growing up affect interest in the Scandinavian style?
Scandinavian design has always been part of me; The inspiring architect Ludwig Mies van de Rohe described this contemporary style and said: “less is more”, which means that the ability to create must be shown by the minimum, in terms of form, and note that form one of the most difficult is to design. . The features of Scandinavian design include the use of minimal materials, but the result is wealth, especially since the materials come from the earth, which increases the value of any room. Contrary to popular belief, the application of minimalist design is not easy. It is noteworthy that important engineers provided important shapes and structures that show how to build in a smooth manner. It is a strong asset of Scandinavian design.
A rich history
Tell us about incorporating the Scandinavian and Mediterranean styles into your projects?
Each of the two styles mentioned in your question has a long history. Therefore, the merging of the two styles produces a combination that I find the most beautiful, either in terms of materials extracted from the Mediterranean countries, such as: stone and richer furniture design, or the spread of a sense of calm, zen and simplicity of the Scandinavian countries through the artwork. It is noteworthy that architecture and design were born in these geographical areas (Mediterranean and Scandinavian countries), therefore it is important to understand the basis of this integration. I had the privilege of getting to know some of the best architects in the world and working with them, and they were my mentors, teaching me how to create the foundation of any structure, draw inspiration from the calmness and stability of Scandinavia, and then the design with history, with inspiration from Italy to offer the best combination.
What do you remember about lessons from your university years, in Italy?
I had the privilege of studying at one of the top universities and then working with big names, in the field of design and architecture. However, it is extremely rare to learn from people who are pioneers in these fields, despite my personal friendship with the majority of architects and furniture designers. On the other hand, however, it facilitates the creation of a subjective design and architectural vision.
She was previously honored in Egypt for designing homes to house refugees in crisis areas; What are the unique features of these houses?
In 2016, I traveled to Iraq and contributed to the refugee crisis; After that, I decided to do what could benefit those people who live in tents and face appalling conditions. I started designing a cost-effective shelter that meets the needs of its residents, after interviewing a team of many refugees to understand their needs. Then I built the house, in a way that it can be installed and packed in a box so that the refugee can assemble it himself, like “Lego” cubes, and without using screws, and note that this home also useful to house a school or hospital. The refugee gets the “house” upon arrival in the camp, and he builds it, with the possibility of adding parts to it, if he finds it necessary to do so. The design protects against cold and heat. I was honored for this design by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, in the framework of the first edition of the World Youth Forum in 2017, which was held in Egypt. It is noteworthy that my design “studio” created the project from the ground up, and that part of the proceeds from the projects I undertake are due to the development of shelters.
What are the most challenging tasks in your projects?
The challenge is to educate the user about the history and power of each part in any business. Every designer has a philosophy behind his creativity, and the latter is not just about creating stylish furniture, just to name a few. It seems to me a privilege to share this philosophy, although not everyone appreciates it. Therefore, I do not formulate any work quickly but take the time for each project to meet the expectations of the client.
What is the effect of contact with the worlds of East and West, due to migration and life between East and West countries, on your style?
I hope that the West and the East, without excluding the culture of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, will inspire me. In the projects I tackle, it’s not always a matter of simply adding what can be imported, but of printing the work with a design identity, drawing inspiration from other parts of the world, and drawing new designs from it. build.
How do you see the future of design in the Middle East?
This region is developing at a faster rate than anywhere else. I see designers trying to adapt parts that come from regions of the world into their design work in the region, but I hope and work to create a history and philosophy of design and creativity. Architecture and design have a history, and developments over time, and we must not forget them. It is true that we are not the fathers and mothers of architecture and design, but we can show the world that we are the pioneers of the future, in these areas.
What are your future plans?
I intend to expand the business by opening more “studios” abroad, and I think Italy and the United States are good candidates for that. Inside Dubai, I try to coordinate with commercial real estate developers because I see a gap in the luxury high-rise building market between the exterior architecture and the interiors of the apartments, so I want to bridge this gap and pay attention to interior design.
in line …
Shad Askari, a Swedish-Kurdish interior design engineer currently living in Dubai; He founded SA Interior Design Studio in Stockholm in 2017, before opening a new branch in Dubai. Askari worked as a hotel manager and served as a commander in the Swedish army, before moving to Rome to study interior design at the Istituto Europeo di Design.
The designer is proficient in six languages, which help him as he travels, and he is working on a series of projects across Europe. He regards travel as a source of great power and passion, and attaches to this hobby the role of renewing the vision, which makes it possible to read reality in a different way, as well as inspiration in design.